It’s TimeThis Memorial Day will be my sixth anniversary of moving to New York. It’s hard to believe I’ve actually been here that long. But, what is harder to believe is that for the entire time of earning Real New Yorker status, I am still technically a subletter.
Yes. A half a decade. No lease to speak of.
Why pray tell, have I been stuck in sad subletter status? Well, mainly because for the past four years I’ve been lucky enough to live in a rent controlled building. For those of you not savvy, I pay dirt cheap rent to live in a decent sized (read: shoe box sized) apartment that is actually on the island. If I were to have been added to the lease, our rent would have gone up substantially.
You’d think the fact that I scored such a situation would mean I’d be staying there as long as humanly possible, spending my future years in New York among my strange neighbors and quickly gentrifying neighborhood, but – alas - this will not be my fate. The main reason: one lone roommate. Lone = anal-retentive/passive-aggressive thirty-something roommate that hates life and all social interaction that it may require.
Due to the desire to flee my apartment’s negativity, I’ve recently decided that it is time for me to move out and get my own apartment. The scales have finally tipped. After five years of essentially being an urban nomad and putting up with the strange roommate behaviors and personalities, it’s time to plant my very own city roots. The beauty of this situation is that I am still subletting and can leave said roommate behind whenever I please.
I’ve begun my search by perusing all the online rental sites I can. I know my price. I know my choice neighborhoods. I’ve seen a couple of places and one thing is clear: I am so damn excited about the proposition that I will have a space of my very own. I can cook whatever I want. I can have anyone I please over to my apartment whenever I want (read: roommates that hate life are not exactly great to have around when you like to entertain people). I can lay around and not be criticized for lengthy couch time. Oh, the possibilities!
I’ve been told time and time again that people can learn so much about themselves by flying solo. Perhaps it’s something about solitude that makes someone ponder their place in life, how they spent their day or who they care to see when they venture out? Perhaps it’s something about owning your own things and hanging your own pictures on the wall? In any sense, a place of one’s own has something pleasingly intangible about it.
So, in an effort to become a more well-rounded person, the search is on.
As they say every gal is on a constant search for one of three things: a job, an apartment or a man. Given that the job is already taken care of, I will gladly take the man-hunt down a notch in honor of my impending move to true singledom.
This past Saturday I saw the lowest of the low when it comes to NYC apartments. I figured I’d check a place out about six or seven blocks from my apartment. It was in an area slightly off the beaten track, but considering how quickly my neighborhood went from sketch to posh, I figured I’d give it a chance.
I should have walked away the second I saw the “POLICE ACTIVITY DO NOT CROSS” sticker on the door…
I walked in to what looked like a badly cleaned up murder scene. Ok. Not really, but the place had clearly been gutted and no clean up had been done following the gutting. As I looked outside through the openings around the window frame, the broker pipes up, “There is a lot of work that needs to be done.”
No shit Sherlock.
I quickly told this guy then and there, that I preferred only to see places that were ready to be rented. After all, I wanted to see the place I'd be living in, or at least something that closely resembles it. He retorted that the dump that I was standing in would rent before it was renovated. I balked and told him that wasn’t my style.
After viewing a few more properties in the area, I resigned myself to knowing what the worst looks like. I have no where to go but up!